Random Truths, Part the Second.

Most Americans are overweight. For many years now, the medical community has attempted to deal with our obesity crisis by giving us useless advice. “Eat right and exercise.” say the medical people. I very recently heard a reprise of this aria from my cardiologist. This advice is patently absurd, for three reasons:

1. Healthy food tastes like shit.

2. Unhealthy food tastes wonderful.

3. Exercise is unpleasant and time-consuming. If you pay a gym membership fee or have to pay a sitter so you can get some exercise, it can also be expensive.

Until something is done to alter these facts, all the whining in the world about eating right and exercising is just more noise. Besides- it has been proven that when one diets, one’s body reacts by trying harder to keep fat on.

If you’ve managed to diet and have lost significant weight, congratulations. It doesn’t change anything about what I’ve written above. All laws have exceptions. And don’t write in telling us how you did it. Just enjoy it now, before you put the weight back on. Because, most of the time, you will put the weight back on plus, usually, a little more. Ain’t life grand?

Gumperson’s Law rules the entire universe. It states that “The probability of any occurrence is inversely proportional to its desirability.” Burn this Law into your brain.

Never challenge Worse. By saying “Things just couldn’t get any worse”, you have challenged Worse and things will go downhill from there. Trust me.

If you see an ad on TV for anything that seems miraculous, especially if it is a way to lose weight, remember that if it really worked, they wouldn’t need to advertise it.

In the 1950’s, TV commercials were limited to three minutes per hour. At the present time, commercials take up twenty minutes of any hour. Not counting the little “silent commercials” in the lower corner of your screen. I don’t know who is in charge of all this but during the 50’s the airwaves belonged to the people of the United States. If they are our airwaves, how can we get back to having three minutes of commercials per hour?

Further TV griping: Why am I paying for no fewer than four channels that show nothing but commercials? I do not consider The Home Shopping Network a real channel and I resent the fuck out of paying for it. I also resent paying for religious channels. If I want to listen to blithering nonsense from Pat Robertson, I can probably find him on the net. I don’t want his demented ass in my house and I sure as HELL don’t want to pay for it.

In fact, what we really need is so-called a la carte programming from our TV “providers”. Then, we would only pay for the channels we wanted to have, which is how it should be. Unfortunately, the mega-corporations that have the monopolies on TV “service” have purchased the members of the FCC, which could change all this in five minutes if they had the Public Interest in mind. And the monopolies wonder why we hate them. As of this writing, the two most-hated companies in America are Comcast and Time-Warner Cable. They are perfect examples of why monopolies and oligopolies should never be allowed to exist. I don’t know about you but every so often, I “lose” a channel on my cable TV. When I call to complain, I am invariably told “You weren’t paying for it anyway, which you should have been.” Why is it that when I “lose” a channel, my bill does not drop correspondingly? Any of you seen your cable bill drop? Ever? Me neither.

If you wanna make a cable “provider” CEO scream that “The sky will fall!”, just say the magic words- a la carte. See how fast he sends lobbyists bearing loads of cash to Bozo the Congress (Thank you, Russell Baker.) and the FCC.

Every single year since I allegedly became an “adult”, I have sworn that the shit they show on TV could not possibly get any stupider. Yet, every single year, the shit on TV reaches new lows. No wonder one of the earliest commissioners of the FCC, the great Newton Minow, described TV, over fifty years ago, as a “vast wasteland”. He is ninety years old as of this writing and I cannot imagine his disappointment with the shit on the Idiot Lantern today.

Who the hell are the Kardashians and why are they famous? And seemingly innumerable? And why are they all over my TV and my damned computer? The same goes double for the cast of Jersey Shore, which, I am proud to say, I never saw one second of.

I mentioned lobbyists above. Who among us wouldn’t be filled with joy if every lobbyist in America just instantly disappeared? We might actually see our elected representatives think about our needs instead of Corporate America. I see that I have just crossed the line into Fantasy Fiction.

Lobbying shouldn’t be an occupation. It should be a crime.

People in government who regulate a particular industry should never be allowed to work in that industry after leaving “Public Service”. Similarly, people from any industry that is overseen or regulated by the government should never be allowed to go into government service. Once you pick a side, you stay on that side. The public shouldn’t pay a fox to guard a henhouse.

No person who works in Public Service should be allowed to take any gifts in any amount of any kind from anyone at any time. Ever. Make it a hanging offense, just to show people that you’re serious.

Public officials should be expected to be totally honest and forthright. Even the appearance of impropriety is to be avoided. This is one of the many good reasons that we need to get money away from politics as soon as possible.

The second worst decision in the history of the Supreme Court is the infamous “Citizens United” decision which says, laughably, that corporations are People. And entitled to “free speech rights” including the right to purchase politicians wholesale.

What was that? Did I hear someone asking what the single worst decision in Supreme Court history was? Easy. Bush v. Gore. Five Republican “justices” decided that no matter who had more votes, George W. Bush was going to be “president”. What a triumph that turned out to be.

I’m sure that this has happened to most of you. I got suckered into one of those damn FB quizzes. This one was to see if I qualify to join Mensa, the semi-exclusive group of those who have a high IQ. I passed it easily. This leads, inexorably, to a question- If I’m so fucking smart, why ain’t I rich?

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky at morning, sailor take warning. Red sky at noon, start drinking-soon!

I intend to eat good food, drink good beer and enjoy fine whisky, even if it shortens my life expectancy. A life spent eating granola, fruits and berries and drinking low-fat soy milk may turn out to be a long life. I bet it’ll sure feel like a long time. Besides, who wants to be 115 years old in a hospital dying from nothing?

Believe nothing that any car salesperson tells you. Especially the ones who whisper conspiratorially “My boss’ll kill me if he finds out about this but we have a special incentive bonus. Today, right now, I’ll sell you the car at this price! But only if you sign now.” Utter bullshit. Like he’s gonna put his job on the line to give you, a total stranger, a good deal. Besides, any deal that is good today will still be good tomorrow. I’m not proud of it but I used to sell cars, for a brief, hellish period of my life. The dealer has all the cards in his favor. Even if you know the exact price the dealer paid for the car, they will attempt to bullshit you in every way known to man. The only chance you have of getting your car at your price is to walk. Salesmen are not permitted to let a customer walk away without “turning them over” to his “boss” who may be just another salesman with a slightly different line of bullshit. If anybody gets between you and the door, walk right over them. Once they realize that you’re serious and won’t be bullied, you can probably make the deal you want. If not, go elsewhere. That dealer isn’t the only one selling that car. Don’t forget, the dealer really doesn’t own all those cars- his bank does. The longer the car sits, the more it costs the dealer. And any dealer would rather make a short (Low-profit) deal than no deal. Yeah, dealers are entitled to make a reasonable profit but you don’t have to be the person who buys his yacht. Use the internet. Find out what the car really costs, offer maybe a thousand dollars over cost. They may scream and moan that they’ll lose money. More bullshit. They’d rather have a fast $1000 deal then a slow $5000 one. Remember, you do not have to buy anything. When in doubt, walk.

On the same subject, do not buy aftermarket stuff from the dealer. Clear coating, soundproofing, rustproofing, fancier sound systems, etc. can all be had for less money and higher quality elsewhere. And don’t pay any “Dealer Prep” charges above the price you agreed to. The dealers are compensated for “prep” by the manufacturer. Same thing with “Destination charges”. Again, if they give you a hard time, walk. If you gave them a deposit, ask them to return it. If they don’t then demand it back. The louder the better. And preferably on a Saturday afternoon when the showroom is busiest. One loud, unhappy customer can kill several sales in just a few minutes. True story- long after I got fired (Cause I was a lousy salesman), I went to a dealer and hassled them down to a good price on a new vehicle.When I went back, my salesman wasn’t there and my deal was suddenly $1000 higher. I dropped the “Bullshit” flag and killed the deal and demanded my thousand dollar deposit back. They gave me a check. A bad check. After it bounced, I waited until Saturday afternoon, walked into the showroom waving the check and yelled “Hey! Your check bounced!” You would not believe how quickly they came up with a thousand dollars in cash so they could get me out the door.

Never use your current car as a “trade in”. It will complicate making a deal and give the salesman and dealership more tools to screw you with. Sell it privately. You’ll get a higher price (The dealer will only pay wholesale.)

A final note on car buying. Never let a dealer finance your car. Work out your own financing beforehand. You will always get a better deal from someone other than the dealer, especially if you gave him a short deal. He’ll want to make up for that by financing you. He gets a cut, the salesman gets a cut, the banker gets a cut. The higher the percentage rate they hit you for, the more each one makes. Seriously, do your own financing or pay cash but never let the dealer finance you. I once sold an expensive car to a guy who could afford it. He willingly and uncomplainingly paid full sticker. I thought  “Great! I’ll make a good dollar on this deal!” Then, I financed him at four points over the going rate. Made my month.

There is no such thing as an illegitimate child but there are numerous illegitimate adults. Newt Gingrich comes to mind.

If you have been asked to sing “The Star Spangled Banner” in public, such as at a sporting event, take heed of the following, from the Book of Doc, Chapter 1, Verse 1, Section 127, Row 13, Seat 5: Thou shalt not add extra syllables and other extraneous vocal acrobatics. If thou hath pitched the song so low that all thou can hit on the low notes, such as “say” in the first line and “gleaming” a bit further on, is kind of a strangled whisper, people will rightly assume that thou intendeth to do an octave jump on the word “Free” near the end of the song. Everybody hates that. Do not do this, as it is an abomination in my presence. Verily I say unto thee, sing it as written and embellish it not. Thou art at a sporting event, not a voice contest on some idiotic “Reality TV” show. If thou heed me not, I shall find thee and clobber thee.

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